This is an updated version of my previous post of my idea of what Season 5 should be like. I think I can safely say that Arrow has lost it's touch in the past 2 years. Here's a show that 4 years ago could do no wrong and for the last 2 years has done every wrong. Since the producers, respectfully, just can't see to get their game back, this is roughly what Season 5 would be if I were the showrunner. Note, none of this information is confirmed fact this is simply an my take on what I would have Season 5 be if I was in charge, also including new characters from the comics who haven't appeared in Arrow, yet at least. Also note, it's quite a long read.
6 months have passed since the H.I.V.E. plot and Oliver Queen / Green Arrow continues to protect the city and act as the beacon of hope with his girlfriend Felicity Smoak / Overwatch. He also fights to maintain the city’s image as mayor and general stability in the city has become much more improved than it has in the last few years, and people are finally feeling safer with Oliver protecting it as mayor and Green Arrow as its superhero. In the ensuing months Oliver and Felicity have gotten back together and have become re-engaged with a set wedding date in mind and everything appears to be falling into place and Oliver finally seems to achieved balance in his life. But the peace is not to last.
Oliver, as Green Arrow, is targeted by mercenaries/assassins lead by Jade Nyuyen / Cheshire, a highly skilled swords-woman who endangers innocent people to lure him out. Though Oliver can handle the mercenaries Jade proves to be almost equal skill to him, but Jade soon begins launching multiple coordinated attacks across the city and Oliver isn't able to stop them all. Finally Felicity tells Oliver he can't do this alone and needs to call the team back. However Oliver doesn’t want to call Diggle and Thea back as they’ve finally broken away from the life, but when the mercenaries become impossible to defeat solo without endangering others Oliver is left with no choice.
John, having finished his 4th tour, however, is uneasy with the concept of fighting for the team again because of a near death experience during his tour. Though this isn't his first brush with death in a war-zone, it's Diggle's his first experience since having a child and during this time he realized that if he dies his daughter grows up without a father. This is only further stressed when Lyla announces she’s pregnant with another child (John Diggle Jr./Connor Hawke from Legends of Tomorrow). However because of the mercenaries Diggle isn’t able to stay away and let Oliver fight them alone so he conditions that he’ll help him defeat this threat, but this will be his last mission with the team. Oliver actually tries to discourage it all together but knows that Diggle is too stubborn to talk down and accepts his conditions.
Likewise Thea is very hesitant to join the team again as she has been spending her time away with Roy, under the aliases “Jason Todd" and "Mia Dearden”, and the two actually have started to build something of a normal life together. Like Diggle, Thea is forced to reconsider when she sees what the mercenaries are doing to Star City and she rejoins the team to help Oliver but Roy is unable to rejoin due to being publicly dead and they are forced to part ways again. Quentin however has been unable to come back to Star City because of too many memories of Laurel and is actually happy with the life he's built with Donna in Las Vegas, which the team respects, but Donna is not the only reason Quentin is staying behind.
Once the team is reassembled they confront and stop Jade and her army of mercs together. When Jade is in captivity and in Iron Heights Oliver, in civilian clothes but masked and with a voice changer, sneaks into the facility to interrogate her. Jade reveals she's not the only one that wants him dead. A dozen other mercenaries have all been hired to kill him, paid the biggest score of their lives, and every time one is defeated another will be sent. As for the employer himself Jade doesn't have answers as they were only dealt with through messengers, but all of his mercenaries are among the best in the buisness and won't stop coming no matter what. Now aware someone wants Oliver dead the team set out to find out what they can about this mysterious employer but they turn up nothing. Even Malcolm is unable to turn up any information on the employer. as they are continually attacked by other mercenaries.
Thea reopens Verdant, you know the club she owns? However she finds herself conflicted with her approach to heroics because of of all the loses endured over the last few years. Though she has always supported Oliver’s way of showing mercy she also begins to realize that letting the bad guys go, allows them to come back and harm others. This has been brought on by Damien Darhk killing Laurel, Slade killing Moira, and then Lonnie Machin / Anarky killing her boyfriend Alex, both were in situations where it was possible to kill t hem and prevent her loved ones deaths.
However she also knows that using that approach is how Malcolm became the monster he is and showing mercy is what made Oliver a better person, but Thea has gotten tired of losing friends and family. This is further pushed when Anarky returns as one of the assassins collecting on the bounty on Oliver. But Thea struggles to restrain herself while fighting him because he killed Alex (her season 4 boyfriend) and truly does consider going through with kill him, something he tries to encourage her to do. However Green Arrow arrives in time to stop Speedy from killing Anarky but there are still tensions over differing approaches.
Soon after Anarky's defeat the next assassins sent after him are Lady Shiva and David Cain (comic book League of Assassins characters). In my version Shiva and Cain would be former members of the league released after Nyssa disbanded the organisation, who have now become mercenaries. Shiva and Cain are partners in crime but with very different approaches to killing. Whereas Cain specializes in using rifles, explosives and knives, Shiva prefers beating her targets to death with her bare hands. However both assassins using their different methods actually manage to badly wound Oliver and he is temporaliy benched. Instead Diggle and Thea team up against Shiva and Cain and, after getting intel from Malcolm, employ their own tactics against them, Thea using Cain's methods against Shiva and Diggle using Shiva's methods against Cain, they are defeated.
The team then encounters a still-alive Deadshot, found by A.R.G.U.S. after his supposed death and brainwashed into becoming their most lethal assassin, a project authorized by Amanda Waller. However since Amanda's death he has been kept imprisoned at a secret A.R.G.U.S. facility not even Lyla knows about. To conceal the extensive burn marks sustained in the explosion Deadshot now wears a white helmet, referencing his comic counterpart. However Deadshot is broken out and sent to kill Green Arrow and engages in a very intense fight with him. However Diggle manages to get through to Deadshot reminding him of his daughter Zoe and he breaks the brainwashing.
While in custody Diggle visits Deadshot who reveals the mercenaries apparent leader: Slade Wilson / Deathstroke, who appears to be continuing out his vengeance plot from 3 years before. Though confused as to how Slade escaped Lian Yu Lyla hacks into Waller's personal files, and discovers Waller secretly released Slade for a classified Suicide Squad mission which ended badly and she tried to have Slade killed, only to survive and flee into hiding. Though Oliver is confused as to why he’s sending mercenaries and hanging back when he is more than capable of killing all of them single handed by himself since he knows their identities. Rightly assumed, it’s shown that Slade is not the mastermind of the plot but is being used by someone who’s holding leverage over him to force his co-operation, though Slade still wants Oliver as dead as he always has.
Meanwhile it is shown that Quentin’s true reason for remaining out of Star City is because he suspects that Laurel is still alive, given a string of sightings across the country through Central City and even Las Vegas. However Roy also picks up on the same trail and begins following up on it, but both happen upon the same scene where they finally find Laurel. Unfortunately what they find is not the Laurel they loved but her Earth-2 doppelganger who none of them were aware of because Barry never told them of her, who recently escaped after a S.T.A.R. Labs pipeline breach. Upon finding her Laurel-2 gets into a skirmish with Roy but he is escapes unharmed. However Roy and Laurel’s fight calls attention to her and the employer finds her, and it's also revealed that the employer was the one who broke her out of the pipeline for his mission but she proved uncooperative and fled and he's been after her since.
Eventually Slade finds Laurel-2 and on orders of his employer threatens to expose "her" survival to the world. Though Laurel-2 tries to explain that she’s not Laurel-1 it does little good. Slade has already been informed of where she's from, and knows that to everyone else they will assume she's Laurel-1 and footage of her in public sent to the press would mean everyone would think Laurel-1 is alive and would be looking Laurel-2 as a result. Not wanting media attention on her she agrees to kill Oliver. As the employer planned when Green Arrow confronts Black Siren he hesistates as she looks exactly like the woman he fought with, though isn't aware of Oliver's relationship with Laurel, and this hesitation practically lets Black Siren destroy him in their fight. When she tries to finish him however she is overpowered while caught up in her recklessness and Oliver imprisons her in their newly designed metahuman cell in the Arrowcave, courtesy of Cisco.
Oliver learns that she was also sent by Slade but is unwilling to send her to Iron Heights, out of stubbornness because she looks like Earth-1 Laurel. However Earth-2 Laurel is unable to provide information on the employer himself and briefly escapes captivity and goes on the warpath against Slade’s men out of vengeance, but gets nowhere and almost gets herself killed until Oliver saves her. Taking slightly naive pity on her because she is another version of Laurel, Oliver offers his help but Laurel-2 immediately declines, uninterested in being a hero, but Oliver reminds her that Slade is still out there, and has no doubt pissed him off by attacking him and will be sending more men to kill her now just like him, since we all know how deeply he holds his grudges.
Though Laurel argues that she’ll just disappear and find him first Oliver reminds her that if Slade found her once he’ll do it again, and with no leads or anyone to help her find him, there is no way she’ll find Slade until it’s too late. But Team Arrow is capable of finding him first and with enough time they can stop him together, or she's on her own and Slade will find her. Realizing that to survive she does need help she, reluctantly, accepts but makes it perfectly clear that she is not Black Canary and is no hero, which Oliver acknowledges. However Laurel is, at first, basically using the team to save her own skin which Oliver is also aware of but has slightly foolish naive hope that things will change.
However her presence causes tensions among the team to see Laurel walking around though it’s not really their’ Laurel, and this Laurel is more aggressive and uncaring compared to her Earth-1 counterpart who becomes more reveling with the prospect of punishing enemies rather than saving people. She also doesn’t get along with Felicity as she finds her geek talk irritating and often insults her intellect by ignoring her, even during missions, in contrast to Earth-1 Laurel who adored her. Laurel-2 even starts using Felicity's computers without permission trying to find Slade herself, leading to more bickering. Laurel-2 has a werid reltationship with Quentin as she is his daughter but not technically his daughter but he still tries to be involved in her life, though Laurel-2 doesn’t want anything to do with him as Quentin-2 wasn't exactly father of the year. Also because Laurel-1 is dead Laurel-2 is stuck inside the Arrowcave unless suited up as Black Siren, which means wearing a mask, which causes issues between her and Oliver when she continually sneaks out to get wasted at clubs.
Of course I would much rather Earth-1 Laurel didn't die, yea like WTF? I also have no idea if they actually are planning on making Earth-2 Lauel a protagonist, or if somehow Earth-1 Laurel is coming back. Again this is basically what I would do if I were in charge but branching on the story based on what we as an auidence have seen.
Meanwhile Curtis continues to aid the team with his technical support and learns more computer hacking from Felicity. Oliver continues to attend to the city's most immediate needs but also keeps searching for Slade. Around the same time he is challenged by the next of the assassins Lester Buchinsky / Electrocutioner, a merc with a pair of gloves specially designed to electrocute anyone to death who so much as takes one punch, and can send an electric current into any surface, killing anyone in it's range. Unfortunately he chooses to attack civilians at random in the middle of the day, impatient and unwilling to wait until night, forcing Oliver to suit up during office hours.
However Lester's body armor is untouchable to Oliver's arrows and Oliver can't so much as touch him without getting zapped, but Laurel is able to subdue and overpower him with her sonic cry. However Oliver and Laurel come to odds when she almost kills Lester but she coldly reminds him that she's only with him until Slade and his employer are defeated. Oliver's absence also leaves one of his advisers suspicious of him not being present publicly during a crisis and begins looking into his history. Though the adviser doesn't discover his identity as Green Arrow he does find evidence of the 1 million dollar check Moira made to Samantha, and discovers the existence of William, though not his current whereabouts, which even Oliver doesn't know, but confirms that William is Oliver's son and exposes this anonymously which hurts Oliver's reputation greatly.
Eventually Oliver and Felicity decide to marry each other but the event is interrupted in the mid-season finale when Slade launches another attack and kidnaps Thea and plans to execute her in front of the city, unmasked. While Oliver and the rest of the team are out searching Laurel becomes dissatisfied with the lack of results to her employer's identity and arranges to fake her death, allowing herself to vanish once more so she can go find the employer herself. However Felicity discovers this and tries to talk her out of it as she has a place in the team, and she can find a purpose with them but Laurel refuses to listen and Felicity ultimatley leaves her to make her choice to stay or go. Meanwhile Slade’s plan is interrupted when Oliver and Malcolm team up to oppose Slade and Thea is able to escape but seemingly kills Slade in a fit of rage for her mother, though Slade uses a decoy but Thea isn't all too concerned with having killed a man, since he was still working for Slade. However as the team is surrounded and hopelessly outmatched but as it seems that they are about to be killed, Laurel returns to save them having changed her mind. Following this Oliver and Felicity pick up where they left off and marry each other.
Around that time it’s revealed, to the audience not the characters, that the employer controlling Slade is David Graves / Prometheus (named after two Justice League comic enemies merged into one character for my version of the story, though this version has altered origins for story reasons). Graves is a former A.R.G.U.S. agent who sees Green Arrow as a false hero who doesn’t inspire hope but inspires despair, mainly causing the death of his entire family under circumstances unrevealed for sometime, and is hell bent on ending him. It's revealed that Graves' mercenaries are being sent not to kill Green Arrow but to test him so Graves' can devise a strategy to outsmart him. As Prometheus he is armed with state of the art equipment in a suit of armor specifically desgined the analyse the attack patterns of his opponent, and devise a means to counter them and is already a superb combatant. However his greatest tactic is intimidation and extortion and will use any methods to extort people into working for him no matter how drastic the consequence, before finishing off his target himself.
It’s also revealed that Slade is working for Graves because his son, Grant (still a child at this point), is being held hostage and Graves has threatened to kill him if Slade doesn’t obey. Trying to kill Thea however was not part of the plan, as Slade was still out for vengeance against Oliver, but having witnessed Malcolm come to their aid Graves realizes he doesn’t know who he’s truly up against, and instead makes learning Green Arrow’s identity his number one priority. Slade however neglects to tell Graves his real identity as he desires to kill Oliver and no one else and begins pulling strings to ensure that Oliver’s identity isn’t exposed, all so he can kill him later when he’s ready.
Throughout the course of the rest of the season Team Arrow continue to deal with regular threats in the city, recurring foes and several new ones. Thea's struggle is further pushed when more people die and she's caught between the influences of Oliver and Malcolm, esepcailly when Anarky starts stalking her trying to make her embrace her inner darkness. Diggle regains his passion for fighting crime in the city and reconsiders his original deal which Lyla encourages though is still undecided. Laurel-2 remains on the team after adjusting to the notion of endulging her lust of battle on the criminal underworld of Star City instead. However it's also shown that Laurel-2 has grown fonder of Oliver, who she never met on her Earth. Slade continues to attack the city but Graves has Slade stealing various technologies and planting them across the city, appearing to be building a device of some kind though Slade continually looks for a way to save Grant.
While at a press conference Oliver is attacked by more mercenaries, but this time they're not working for Slade but rather a still-alive Vandal Savage (a younger version than the one who dies in "Legendary"). While the team isn't that shocked to learn Savage is alive, as they learned from Ray that Savage would return to conquor the world in 2166, they are shocked when they discover that Malcolm collected his ashes which allowed him to come back sooner than he would have had they remain scattered. Malcolm reveals to have done this trying to learn the source of his immortality to harness it himself, now that he no longer has a Lazarus Pit. Savage targets Team Arrow for revenge for his last defeat, and because killing them would allow him to kill Hawkgirl and Hawkman without interference this time, and plans to do the same to Team Flash.
It's also revealed that Vandal is actually Roy's ancestor and tries to recruit him with no success. However Vandal's interests conflict with Slade's and both end up in an all street war killing countless civilians in the crossfire, including a friend of Thea's from High School. Eventually Oliver and Thea confront Slade and Savage but Thea actually "kills" Savage out of vengeance for her friend, though of course he will simply regenerate (inside an A.R.G.U.S. facility that is). However this causes tensions between Oliver and Thea for using lethal methods again and eventually Thea decides to quit the team and do things solo. What scares Oliver most is that losing loved ones (Robert, Yao Fei, Shado, Akio and Taiana and whomever else Oliver meets in the Season 5 flashbacks) is what made Oliver the ruthless viglantie he was in the first season, and fears Thea is falling down the same path.
Cupid also returns but rather than just targeting engaged couples is targeting anyone who so much as displays affection for each other, and begins wrapping up a body count. However this is just a newfound hobby and her real target is Green Arrow because she sees him as an imposter of The Arrow, unaware they were the same guy, and hates that he has been praised as the city's hero while people seem to have forgotten about The Arrow. So Cupid also begins photos of The Arrow on her victims to make everyone remember him. Meanwhile Laurel has become more active in helping the team and her and Oliver start to get along better, but Laurel starts to display signs of affection towards Oliver but Felicity starts worrying that Oliver is falling for Laurel-2 because she looks like Laurel-1. After admitting this Oliver reassures Felicity that she is the love of his life, his wife, and though Laurel-2 may look like the woman he loved, she is not and Felicity's fears are calmed. Laurel-2 however has actually grown quite fond of him.
While confronting Cupid however she kidnaps a married couple and gives Oliver an ultimatum to unmask or watch them die so she see 'the man who stole her lover's legacy', but when Oliver unmasks in front of her she is stunned and realizes that Green Arrow and The Arrow are the same guy. However Oliver makes it clear that he doesn't love her and never will but wants to help her but she angrily tries to kill him, though Oliver is able to defeat her. Unable to send her to Iron Heights without spilling his secret Cupid is imprisoned at A.R.G.U.S., next to Deadshot's cell where she learns he's alive, much to his frustration. Though Oliver does confirm that he doesn't have any feelings towards Laurel-2 it is shown when he visits Laurel-1's grave that he feels guilty for lying to Felicity because he does feeling something for Laurel-2, and feels guilty for doing so because she's not the Laurel he loved. After all we all know CW likes to do love triangles.
Diggle also gets into trouble when an old war buddy of his, now a private investigator, shows up asking for help after getting on the wrong side of Brick planning an auction of stolen military grade weapons to sell to the remaining gangsters in the city. Diggle's buddy was looking into Brick when he was compromised and is being hunted by Murmur, now working as Brick's hitman following their team up last season, and seeks Diggle's help to get his family into A.R.G.U.S. custody and to take down Brick before he succeeds in his deal. Diggle agrees but as they confront the gang Brick kills Diggle's war buddy before Diggle takes down Brick and Murmur. After being forced to tell his buddy's wife and son that they're never gonna see him again Diggle is also shaken, realizing that this could be Lyla, Sara and their soon to be born son this happens to. But he also knows that he's a soldier in his heart and saving people and making a difference is in his blood, but he still cares for his family more.
Oliver is also contacted by John Constantine asking for his help, cashing in the favor Oliver promised John in "Haunted". When Oliver prepares to leave Thea decides to go with him, since she still has a thing for John, but makes it clear that she's still off the team. When they meet him John reveals he's been looking for a mystical artifact based on voodoo magic that Papa Midnite has been searching for. If Midnite succeeds it'll mean bad news for anyone whose ever pissed him off, John included, and anyone who so much as looks at him the wrong way. However the chamber is guarded by demons and is only accessible to Oliver himself because of the anti-Damien Darhk magic tattoo he gave Oliver 6 years before. Though John can handle demons he is not as safe against the 20+ hitmen Midnite is bringing and can't fight them all by himself, thus needing Oliver and Thea's help.
After venturing to the whereabouts of the artifact they are attacked by Midnite's men and after battling their way through demons and Midnite, Oliver and Thea forced to work together, they retrieve the artifact John was seeking and to keep it out of Midnite's hands, John destroys it. As for Midnite himself Oliver swiftly defeats him and leaves an anonymous call to the police to pick him up. Before parting ways again John grants Oliver another favor and reveals that he succeeded in summoning the spirit of his mother, as he previously expressed desire to achieve in "Non Est Asylum", and summon's Moira's spirit for Oliver and Thea to speak to. Moira apologizes for all the mistakes she made while Thea apologizes for hating her, due to Moira keeping Thea's parentage a secret, but Moira simply tells both Oliver and Thea she loves them and how proud she is of them. Following this Thea comes to peace with herself and makes amends with Oliver and returns to Team Arrow and promises to use more merciful approaches.
Felicity and Laurel-2 continue to get on each other's nerves and bicker about almost everything, much to Oliver's frustration, and Felicity questions why Laurel hates her so much but she refuses to answer. During all the chaos erupted due to the mercenary attacks Werner Zytle / Vertigo takes advantage and sets up his drug business again. When Laurel confronts him Vertigo assumes shes Laurel-1 and seeks revenge for his last defeat at "her" hands. Laurel is affected by the vertigo drug and hallucinates that Felicity is Earth-2 Sara who continually taunts her, even when awake and it leaves Laurel very unhinged.
When the team is split up trying to find Vertigo Laurel recklessly heads out on her own to find Vertigo and kill him, but is affected by a stronger dose. Laurel almost overdoses until Felicity creates an antidote and gives it to her. When Laurel wakes up and learns what Felicity did for her Laurel admits why she hated Felicity so much: Because Felicity reminds Laurel of her sister who in contrast to being a delinquent turned assassin was as much of a nerd as Felicity, even wearing similiar glasses. However after a falling out between the two Sara-2 died when the Queen's Gambit went down with Oliver-2, who Laurel-2 never actually met in person, only knew of because he was dating Sara-2. After this Laurel was overwhelmed with regret and moved to Central City as a result. But after confessing this Laurel and Felicity actually begin to find common ground and general tensions dwindle between them.
Things become complicated for the team when Jade Nyuyen / Cheshire returns after escaping Iron Heights to complete her mission, but while looking for her Roy returns and reveals that Jade is his ex-girlfriend. Jade was with Roy roughly two years before he met Thea, so around 2010, but the two had a falling out over a theft they were meant to pull off. Roy felt uneasy about it while Jade was too eager to listen to reason. Instead Jade went in without Roy and was caught in a gang war and the warehouse exploded and Jade was presumed dead. However Jade survived and became a mercenary. Now she's been hired to kill Green Arrow, though in reality distract him so Slade can steal prototype technology from Palmer Technologies for their plan, but Roy believes he can try and reason with her but Jade tries to kill Roy instead. Because Roy used to love her he is hesitates to fight her which almost lets her kill him though he escapes, but the lure him back out she threatens to expose him to the public. However Slade is outraged as her mission is to distract Oliver not fight Roy, and threatening to expose Roy will draw too much attention to their plan, since "The Arrow" won't be dead anymore and police will be looking for the real suspect which could expose Slade's operation. Eventually Thea intervenes and defeats Jade and she is imprisoned at A.R.G.U.S. However it is also shown that Jade has a 6 year old daughter being raised by another family whom she's been using her earnings to fund, but it is greatly implied that this girl is also Roy's daughter as her name is 'Lian Harper'.
In "Darkness on the Edge of Town" Thea tries to sway Roy away from looking for The Arrow using Oliver as an example as she believed him dead for 5 years, then Roy tells her that he lost someone too and "they aren't coming back", but didn't go into more detail because the way he said it, made it sound like this person mattered to him as more than just a friend. It kinda annoyed me that there was no follow up on this, who was so important? It also occurs to me we've never seen or learned much of Roy's past dealings with criminals, and he was a thief for his whole life until Oliver saved him. So this is what I would do if I were the showruner.
Quentin is attacked by H.I.V.E.'s remnants, seeking revenge for betraying them, and though the team has him relocated for his safety H.I.V.E. doesn't stop coming after him. However H.I.V.E. doesn't go after Oliver because only Damien, Ruve and Andy knew Green Arrow's identity so no remaining H.I.V.E. members know who to go after. However while searching for a lead on the remnants Team Arrow is mislead while the remaining "Ghosts" (I always hated what the footsoldiers were called), attack the Arrowcave and attack Quentin and Laurel-2. Though they survive they are forced on the run though Laurel isn't happy about it as she still doesn't like Quentin. However when they are cornored and using ear pieces to block Laurel's sonic attack Quentin takes a bullet for her as the team returns to help her and defeat the remaining agents. While Quentin recovers at the hospital Laurel thanks him for saving her and starts to grow fonder of him and the two start to form a father/daughter like bond, even though they technically aren't but it would motivate Laurel-2 into being a better person.
The follow bit takes information from Arrow: The Dark Archer comics written by John Barrowman himself: Nyssa is attacked by assassins working for an organisation called The Hidden lead by Saracon and both their skills are evenly matched, but Saracon has greater numbers. Furthermore Saracon is also revealed to be telepathic and can control animals, even predators. Realizing she's completely outmatched Nyssa escapes and flees back to Star City, hoping to get answers on her attacker from Team Arrow. When Nyssa describes the attacker Malcolm reveals that Saracon is his son. Malcolm reveals that he and Saracon's mother Lourdes were members of the Hidden, dedicated to protecting the secrets of the Ashkiri temple which was the location of a Lazarus Pit, which Malcolm sought to obtain. After Malcolm succeeded they were attacked by spirits and Malcolm left Lourdes to die. What Malcolm didn't know was that Ra's al Ghul had followed them and saved Lourdes and, after giving birth to Saracon, had a child with Ra's named Nyssa, much to Nyssa's shock. Malcolm also reveals the temple was said to be the resting place of a cursed leopard's heart which if eaten by whomever could find the key to unlock it and survive the magic guarding it, would inherit the ability to command nature itself. Malcolm also reveals that the previous year after becoming Ra's he was attacked by Saracon and Lourdes, and they were forced into the temple where Saracon found and ate the heart and inherited it's powers but at the cost of Lourdes' life.
Saracon however is revealed to have deliberately forced Nyssa back to Star City so he can trap her, Oliver, Malcolm and Thea all in the same place and reveals that he plans to rebuild the League of Assassins and inherit the mantle of Ra's al Ghul, going mad with power and believes it is his birthright as the son of Ra's (Malcolm) but wants rid of those that were Ra's before him which includes Malcolm, Nyssa and even Oliver, and wants Thea dead as she was an heir herself being Malcolm's daughter. However Saracon wants Nyssa to call back the league's forces while he wants Malcolm to reveal the names of his loyalists so he can dispose of potential traitors. Instead Malcolm brings his loyalists in to fight while Saracon leads the Hidden against them and uses his powers to summon animals to terrorize civilians, forcing Oliver, Malcolm, Thea and Nyssa to team up against Saracon. During their confrontation Saracon also reveals Malcolm's darkest secret, his real name: Arthur King. Despite every attempt to reason with him Saracon doesn't back down and unable to imprison him because of his powers and Nyssa is forced to kill him to save Oliver's life, much to Malcolm's outrage. However Malcolm is unaware that Slade was observing the fight and took note of his real name as Arthur King. Flashbacks in this would also show Malcolm/Arthur's time in the Hidden, romance with Lourdes, him changing his name and meeting his future wife Rebecca.
Oliver also encounters the Earth-2 Robert Queen / Green Arrow who comes to Earth-1 in search of Laurel-2 for her crimes against Earth-2 Starling City. However Oliver opposes Robert-2 trying to plead that Laurel isn't beyond redemption but Robert, even more a cynic than Oliver, doesn't believe him which briefly leads to conflict between them over their differing approaches to heroism. However Oliver and Robert are opposed by Robert's archenemy from Earth-2 Tommy Merlyn / Dark Archer who follows him through the breach. Oliver and Robert are forced to team up to oppose Tommy and eventually defeat him. After this Robert sees that Laurel has found her place on Earth-1 and lets her go while he brings Tommy back to Earth-2, via Cisco opening a breach for them. Before leaving he admits he was wrong about Oliver and Thea's methods to show mercy and admits he respects them for it, and tells them that though he's not their real father he'd be proud to be, and is inspired by Oliver to try things his way back on Earth-2.
Eventually Graves, while researching the possibilities on who Green Arrow is, discovers Felicity and though she checks out (Felicity having covered her tracks) he discovers her father is Noah Kuttler / The Calculator and researching his misdeeds, discovers that he was in contact with Roy the previous year and discovers that Roy is still alive. Graves realizes that Noah is the key to finding Roy seeks out Noah and forces him to find Roy again, using Felicity as leverage and kidnaps Roy while laying low and tortures him until he gives up what he knows about Team Arrow, hoping it gives him some clue as to Green Arrow's identity or at least the identity of his associates. However Noah gives away their location and Green Arrow, Speedy, Spartan and Black Siren come to their aid and after realizing his cover’s been blown Oliver has Roy relocated back to Star City for his safety, but is unable to be Arsenal as they know Graves will be looking for him.
However Oliver's adviser mentioned before discovers the truth about his identity, though Malcolm kills him to keep it safe, Malcolm realizes that Graves will never stop looking for Oliver and if the adviser can learn Oliver's identity others can too and Graves could learn it from anyone of them, and Graves will show no mercy to anyone affiliated with Oliver. Furthermore Graves knows that Roy is alive, and it won’t be long until he discovers Thea’s connection to the team. To keep Thea safe, Malcolm meets with Graves and agrees to tell him who Green Arrow is conditioning that he lets Thea live. Though Graves agrees he also knows that Slade has been playing him and knows Slade is already aware of Green Arrow’s identity and will need another enforcer after he plans to kill Slade, and manages to extort Malcolm into working for him instead when he threatens to expose his survival to the world and his true name: Arthur King. Reluctant, Malcolm agrees. Soon after Graves tries to have Slade disposed of but is unaware he has the Mirakuru serum again, and he survives but comes to believe Graves has killed Grant and becomes hell bent on killing him too, more so than killing Oliver.
Meanwhile Felicity starts getting very sick and has mood swings, actual mood swings and not crying every 5 seconds. When she checks into a hospital she learns that she's pregnant. Though Felicity is horrified at the idea of becoming a parent she manages to calm down after a talk with Donna, and she tells Oliver and he is overwhelmed with joy as she starts opening up to the concept. Not long after this however Oliver and Felicity are attending a benefit for the Star City Police Department, when the place is attacked by Graves' mercenaries. Though Oliver and Felicity escape Graves sets off a highly advanced EMP weapon and Felicity's spinal implant malfunctions, and she is left paralyzed again. Unable to carry her and fight the mercenaries at the same time, as the mercenaries have everyone else distracted, Oliver is overwhelmed and Malcolm shows up and cripples him and Graves personally shows up to meet Oliver for the first time. Graves accuses him of killing his family without going into full detail, wanting to save it for later, but Oliver is helpless to watch he stabs Felicity right in front of him telling him "you have failed this city!". Graves then leaves Oliver alive, broken, and helpless to hold Felicity in his arms as she dies of blood loss, just as Donna arrives.
After the funeral Oliver falls into a dark path of vengeance greater than anything he’s known and becomes an animal of what he used to be, and is completely hell bent on finding and killing Graves at any cost. He also burns his Green Arrow suit, believing he doesn't deserve to wear it as it stood for hope which he no longer has, having lost the source of his hope, and to remind himself of his greatest mistake he starts wearing his Al Sah-him suit again, as he almost pushed everyone away during that phase. However the rest of the team becomes concerned for Oliver's well being as vengefully hunting down the man who killed his wife, is how Malcolm became the monster he is now. However Oliver is too blinded by his anger to see reason and would do anything to kill Graves at this point. Shortly after Oliver progressively falls deeper down his path of dispair and starts dropping bodies again much to everyone elses shock, even greater when Oliver abandons the team leaving Diggle to lead it once more. Everyone subsequently comes to resent him for ditching them. He also compeltely drops off the grid as Oliver Queen and his job as mayor is subsequently given to someone else, later revealed to be one of Graves' agents. Felicity’s death also sends Noah off the deep end and he tries to expose Oliver’s identity to the public but Curtis is able to stop him by deleting all his evidence and the team imprisons him in their lair until they can find a more suitable method of imprisonment.
While hunting Graves yields not results for the team Slade approaches Oliver and offers his assistance to help him find Graves, as he knows where he's operating out of. Though obviously skeptical Oliver, blinded by vengeance towards Graves' himself, agrees. Slade also reveals Graves' endgame: He plans to levelling the city entirely with a nuke he's had Slade assemble under the city in secret, aiming to finish Darhk's work. But before then he'll send an army of mercenaries all armed with advanced high-tech weapons to bring the city to it's knees, all to make Oliver feel helpless before finishing the city off with the nuke. Knowing the rest of the team needs to remain behind to protect the city Oliver contacts Team Arrow and gives them this intel, but Diggle, Thea and even Laurel try to convince him to come back and urge him against trusting Slade. However Oliver has become too short sighteted to listen and refuses and even states that once Graves' is dead, he is done with being a vigilante for good.
After this Oliver and Slade head out to infeltrate Graves' base of operations: Lian Yu. Slade reveals that A.R.G.U.S. wasn't aware of Graves' taking over the prison because after freeing himself and Captain Boomerang, he left his own men on the island to hold the guards hostage and force them to report all clear to Lyla or their families would die. When there Oliver and Slade battle the mercenaries, just like old times, but when they confront Graves in the underground prison he reveals his wildcard. Grant, in contrast to what Slade was lead to believe, is still alive but threatens to kill him unless Slade kills Oliver. Without think twice about it Slade fights Oliver but despite having Mirakuru strength again Oliver manages to outsmart him, and uses explosive arrow heads to knock him out, but this was all misdirect so Graves can sneak up and inject Oliver with poison to knock him out. Graves then tries to execute Slade but he wakes up faster than Graves antipicated and he flees with Grant using the escape boat but Graves is still pleased to have Oliver.
When Oliver wakes up he's in one of the cells with Graves waiting to speak to him. Oliver angrily tries to escape demanding Graves explain why he killed his wife and Graves coldly replies that Oliver killed his. Upon being asked to elaborate Graves reveals his story: When he was a teenager he and his father were kidnapped and when the abductors tried to kill them when their ransom demands weren't met, David's father sacrificed himself to save him. Not wanting to let the same happen to others David then joined the military and then A.R.G.U.S. wanting to make a difference in the world. He was also given the codename: "Prometheus", and specalized in close quaters combat but also intel gathering and weapons development. He also came to admire "The Arrow" for his more lethal apporach to justice as it made a difference, and was sad when he "died" and believed that Green Arrow paled in comparison. He also met and married a woman named Jennifer and had two children Jason and Emma and eventually Graves decided to retire from field work, wanting to dedicate more time to his family. They lived in Havenrock.
However last year when Graves was out of town attending to a personal matter the town was destroyed when Felicity redirected a nuke onto it, killing his family, friends and everyone he knew. After this he snapped and sought vengeance. Using his former connections at A.R.G.U.S. he discovered Green Arrow's involvement, though not his identity, and blamed him for his family's deaths. However upon seeing Green Arrow be praised as Star City's hero and as a beacon of hope he sought to not just kill him, but to kill his legacy too by killing the love of his life and watching him fall into dispair. Now that he has Oliver in his custody Graves wants him to see his city fall deeper into dispair when he unleashes his armies upon it to ruin everything he's ever fought for in the last 5 years. Once that's achieved and the city is barely holding together and his friends are all dead he will bring Oliver back to see his work, then he'll die along with the rest of his city when the nuke goes off.
Not long after Prometheus unleashes his armies of soldiers and the city quickly falls under occupation, even A.R.G.U.S. can't get in as Graves knows exactly how they operate and has contingencies in place to prevent them getting in. Furthermore every major villain Oliver has ever detained is set loose and overruns the city and Team Arrow is overwhelmed leaving the people hopeless and helpless to submit to their rules. Prometheus also stages one of his men as Green Arrow and has him killed by his soldiers to fake his death to spread the city further into chaos. Furthermore Prometheus has all the mercenaries he sent after Team Arrow released and sent back into Star City to hunt down Team Arrow's members, offering 20 million dollars per kill, minus Thea as per his deal with Malcolm, and a bonus 50 million for whomever finds and kills Slade. Malcolm also continues to aid Prometheus however so he won’t expose his past and survival to the world. Meanwhile Oliver remains detained for some time but eventually after having enough time to calm down and realize how consumed by vengeance he has become, and realizes that to escape he needs to put vengeance aside and focus on survival and escapes his cell and flees into the woods. Once topside Oliver is forced to re-embraces the warrior he was on the island once more to defeat the rest of Graves' men, and succeeds in killing all of them single handedly, utlizing every skill he's ever beeb taught. Oliver then frees the remaining A.R.G.U.S. guards and they call in support and Team Arrow, forced into hiding in the ensuing weeks, learn that Oliver is alive and learn his whereabouts.
Following this Diggle comes to the island to rescue Oliver but he actually refuses to go insisting the island is where he belongs, where he should have died or else none of what is transpiring would have happened. Upon hearing this Diggle gives him a beat down for giving up, for betraying his principles. John makes it clear that he is still pissed at him for abandoning the team but reminds Oliver he joined his crusade: because he saw what war can do to a person and saw that Oliver would need someone to bring him back in case he ever got lost and has never, ever, given up on that promise. He also reminds him that if Graves succeeds then everything he’s built to achieve the last 5 years will be lost and those closest to him; Tommy, Moira, Laurel (Earth-1), Felicity and everyone else he's lost will have died for nothing. Upon hearing these words Oliver realizes how far he’s fallen and makes ammends with John and after regaining his will to fight the two return to the city to face Graves’ soldiers. Though Oliver is without a suit, as Graves' destroyed the Al Sah-him suit Diggle reveals he called in a favor with Cisco and presents him a newer more improved Green Arrow suit, and finally decides he is worthy to wear it again.
Meanwhile in the city Thea, Roy and Laurel-2 have gone into hiding to avoid the mercenaries. Though Oliver and Diggle return shortly after, with Nyssa aiding them as well. Additionally Sara and Ray temporarily return from their mission with Rip Hunter to aid the team, as they are Arrow characters. Whilst gathering Sara and Laurel-2 meet and Laurel-2 is overwhelmed with emotions to see Sara, though not her Sara, likewise for Sara herself. After this the team gather the S.C.P.D. who Quentin takes temporary command of as all their leaders are dead, and prepare for a counter attack against Graves. While preparing Thea still uses the Arsenal suit as Speedy, but Diggle reveals he had another made for Roy which he dubs as the "Red Arrow" suit. Laurel-2 also finds Laurel-1's suit and, having finally found her place in the team, dons it and accepts the mantle of Black Canary. Soon after the superheroes and the police force stand rallied in the streets and oppose Prometheus and his armies of soldiers, every mercenary they've fought the past year and every major rouge in the series all at once. Slade also returns but aids Team Arrow instead still wanting Graves' dead more than Oliver allowing them to fight together like they used to, though obviously nothing if forgiven between them. During the fight Thea has a chance to kill Slade after being buried under debris and he even encourages it but Thea spares him, not wanting to succumb to Malcolm's level. Diggle however is caught engaging multiple villains at once and despite succeeding in taking most of them dowm Diggle is stuck fighting Malcolm and he fatally stabs him, though Oliver intervenes before he can finish him.
During the fight Oliver and Malcolm also clash but this time Malcolm has grown tired of the game he and Oliver have been playing for almost 5 years now, and both try to end each other. However as Malcolm seems to have an upper hand Nyssa intervenes and she forces Malcolm and herself away from the main battle, wanting Oliver to stop Graves' before he escapes and still wanting to kill Malcolm for everything he's put her through. Despite a valiant effort on Nyssa's part however Malcolm proves to be the superior warrior and, right in front of Sara, drives an arrow through her chest out of vengeance for Saracon's death and Nyssa dies in Sara's arms. Again this is just an idea so I don't know if Nyssa is actually going to die next season, I've just always had a feeling that Malcolm is going to kill her at some point, I honestly though he was going to kill her last season, but if you think this is a terrible idea feel free to comment. Eventually Green Arrow confronts Prometheus at Smoak Technologies and their fight leads to the rooftop where they engage in an intensly prolonged fight. Prometheus however turns out to be a superb fighter with equal skills to Oliver's, and seems to know everything about how he fights, so Oliver tries to be as unpredictable as he can, though both are stuck fighting each other for quite a while. Eventually Green Arrow is barely able to defeat Prometheus after intentionally allowing him to break on of his arms making him believe he has the upper hand, only for Oliver to drive a dagger into both of Prometheus' feet and cripple him.
Defeated and broken Graves tries to taunt Oliver by reminding him that Felicity is still dead and he's still brought the city into dispair, because he's taken away Oliver's source of hope and made him a shell of the man he used to be. But Oliver reminds him that it's not just Felicity he was fighting for but the entire city, for everyone that lives there, a fact he's realized now more than ever. Oliver also knows that in his state of mental health if he kills Graves now he'll never come back from his own despair and lets him live, but reminds him that though he's a hero he doesn't have to save him either. Instead Laurel appears, angered for him extorting her, and literally screams him to death, his systems unable to handle the frequency Laurel's scream emits at it's peak. After the battle all of Graves' men either flee or are arrested and Oliver finds a mesage from Slade in the office of the building. Slade makes it perfectly clear he does and always will hate him for what happened to Shado, but in return for Oliver helping him save Grant's life Slade won't cross paths with Oliver again, since he's satisfied with seeing what Felicity's death did to him, though Slade will only honor this agreement if Oliver does the same. Oliver accepts this and both part ways hoping to never see each other again. Of course this wouldn't last but it would allow Slade to appear in crossovers in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, which would also be awesome.
Also Oliver decides to rid herself of Malcolm without killing him, vengeful towards him for killing Nyssa and crippling Diggle and tired of his betrayals and truces, with Thea's approval, reveals Malcolm’s survival to the police and Malcolm is forced to leave Star City forever. Exposed and with no League of Assassins and no H.I.V.E. and now being wanted by the police, F.B.I. and presumably A.R.G.U.S. Malcolm then becomes a mercenary himself, but would grow to despise Oliver but in the meantime is unable to do anything because of the heat on him but would come back for vengeance in a later season.
In the aftermath Oliver grieves for Felicity’s death. Nyssa is buried in Star City next to Sara's fake grave under her real name Nyssa Raatko, since Sara will no doubt be buried in her fake grave again one day when she dies for real. Again that is. Diggle recovers from the wounds he sustained fat Malcolm's hands but is diagnosed with partial paralysis, although he can still walk but he can’t push himself too far, or he’ll worsen the injury. Following this Diggle is forced to retire from active field work as Spartan but chooses to stay and remain Oliver’s confidant helping any other way he can, allowing him to help and be there for his family. Lyla also gives birth to their new son and Sara suggests they name him John Diggle Jr. Laurel-2 decides to remain with the team expressing a newfound liking for being a hero, but also because of affections she's developed for Oliver, which Oliver would be implied to return but nothing would occur, at least this season, because of Felicity but not to say it couldn't happen later.
Curtis also takes Felicity’s place as tech support. Roy is forced to leave unfortunately as he’s presence could expose Oliver’s secret while Thea decides to stay to carry out her work, and the two are forced to part ways but remain in contact. However when Roy visits Jade in prison she reveals her big secret, that they have a daughter leaving Roy shocked to learn he's a father. Likewise Sara and Ray are forced to leave to return to Rip's team and part ways with them yet again, but before leaving they tell Oliver about the future (Star City 2046) and Oliver promises to keep an eye on Grant Wilson in the coming years. Sara and Laurel-2 also part ways and even though they aren't actually sibilings, meeting each other gives them a degree of closure for grief over their actual deceased sisters. Quentin is also re-instated as police captain for his efforts in rallying the leaderless S.C.P.D. during the occupation.
Meanwhile Smoak Technologies now without Felicity around, falls into receivership. However Thea seeks out Walter's aid and using Oliver's remaining shares in the company, and Thea buying a majority stock herself using Malcolm's money and immediately giving it to Oliver, he is able to buy back his company under the new name Queen Inc. (as seen in Eobard Thawne's 2024 newspaper). Finally Anarky, Cupid, Calculator, and most of the mercenaries are imprisoned on Lian Yu so they won't harm anyone else again.
This is just what I think Arrow Season 5 should be and I, speaking modestly, think it would be awesome. Yes I am aware that other characters such as Evelyn Sharp will be returning, while new characters such as Adrian Chase/Vigilante and Jack Wheeler/Wild Dog will be appearing and I haven't accounted for them, but this is just an idea story that mainly accounts for the core cast of characters.
I understand that people might think the Earth-2 Laurel becoming a hero and taking Earth-1 Laurel’s place is a bit farfetched but I don’t think it’d be an impossible feet. Look at Mick Rory, a criminal and arsonist whose killed a lot of innocent people, and now he’s a hero and apparently is a member of the Justice Society of America in the future? Anyway if Mick can be redeemed why not Laruel?. Honestly I think this is a good opportunity to do the character differently and better this time because as devastated as most of us were when Laurel died, we can’t ignore that she wasn’t the best written character of the show. True she evolved from a lawyer who suffered many losses in her life and channeled her grief by taking on the city’s criminal underworld as a hero, and served as a role model for women.
However Season 1 she more often felt like a plot device to Oliver and Tommy’s story, Season 2 she descended into drug abuse, Season 3 she kept Sara’s death a secret and was quite reckless taking on foes like Malcolm, Season 4 she brought Sara back to life despite knowing she’d come back different. It doesn’t make it any less devastating that she’s dead but if they introduce Laurel-2 to the team it’d be a chance to do the character differently and hopefully better, though not to say we forget Laurel-1 either. An Oliver and Laurel-2 paring might sound a bit off but then again so did Oliver x Felicity so I don’t feel as bad about having this idea, as I previously stated I don’t think I was being naive to assume Oliver and Laurel-1 would end up together at some point.
Of course I would much prefer it if Laurel-1 were actually still alive but she's basically all but confirmed to be dead, we saw the body we saw her buried and Rip Hunter all but confirms it by revealing that Sara and Quentin would have died also if he didn't recruit Sara to his mission. Vandal Savage also taunted Sara by asking "you spoken to your sister Laurel lately?", implying he learned of her death at some point in the next 150 years and since he clearly knew Sara was from 2016 I don't think he's accounting for a later time peroid where she could have been alive. If Laurel-1 is alive I'd be happy but I'd be very confused as hell and it's be kinda pointless considering that people have gotten so angry with the writers that they've stopped watching it, something I considered doing too, and it'd be a pointless revelation. Unless Flashpoint in The Flash change the entire timeline and restore Laurel back to life, but Stephen Amell says it probably won't. I really hope he's wrong though.
I also do know I have used time travel and multiverse and yes Arrow is, well apparently, more grounded even though we've seen magic, strength drugs, hell Oliver and Laurel went to the afterlife to retrieve Sara's soul! Anyway Arrow is "More Grounded" but what's the point of having a shared universe of programs if they don't utilize each other's concepts?
Aside from that tell me what you think of it and be honest, I’d like to hear what you think of my idea.